Planning your funeral while you are alive is often avoided. It may be because people think that if they start thinking about those things and making plans, their funeral may happen sooner rather than later. But I can tell you from experience that isn’t usually the case. All of my grandparents and my parents planned and paid for their funerals in their early years while they were still working. And they all lived until their early 90’s. By planning and paying for things in advance they were able to take their time and not rush into things. They made the right decisions based on how much money they wanted to spend and they made sure that they were buried next to each other. If they had waited and left the planning to us, who knows if we would have been able to find space for each of them to be close together.
When you plan your funeral in advance you can purchase things based on your personal budget. As you know, funerals can be expensive. However, if you prefer to spend less, you can. If you want an expensive funeral you can identify your priorities and allocate your money towards the items that are most important to you.
As you plan your funeral based on what you can afford, speak with those closest to you first to see what their plans are for their own funeral. Would any of you like to be buried side by side? You need to know that so that you can find a cemetery that still has plots available. You also need to discuss how much they planned on spending on their funeral. Yes, it may be a very difficult conversation, but just take your time with it.
Once you start talking about it, visit some funeral homes and cemeteries and gather information and prices. If you plan to buy gravestones, look at your choices and find out how much they will cost so that you can include that cost in your budget as well.
Keep in mind that a traditional funeral can cost anywhere from $6,000 up to $20,000 on average. A cremation may cost between $600 and $4,000. Of course it all depends on what you want and where you live.
When making your choices always ensure that you never feel pressured into spending more than you can afford. If when doing your research you find the costs quickly adding up, look for ways to cut back. Remember that funeral homes are a business and they are there to make money. They will offer you all kinds of fancy options in an effort to make money. You need to be assertive and stick to your budget. If you cannot afford to pay for your funeral while you are still alive you may wish to consider purchasing funeral insurance to cover the costs.
By doing things while you are still alive you ensure that everything will be exactly the way you want it to be and you remove that burden from your family members.